Hello, on Thursday November 17, 2016 I had the chance to attend the signing of Shannon Messenger
|Fifth installment of KOTLC|
Shannon Messenger is the author of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, and the Sky Fall trilogy. The reason of her visit to San Diego was the tour she is doing for the release of the fifth installment of Keeper of the Lost Cities, Lodestar. The event was supposed to start at 6:00 pm, but it started a few minutes late. Messenger looked tired, and with a good reason, she flew from Arizona straight to San Diego.
The first part of the event was a talk about the new book, the author thanked the public for being there and talked about how successful the series has become thanks to the fans, now Keeper of the Lost Cities is in the list of bestselling series of the New York Times.
After the talk the event took the format of a Q&A session, the public was really participative, and most of the participants were kids (I felt so old), during the session Messenger said interesting things about the series, how she became an author, what is like to be an author, and some tips to aspiring authors.
About Keeper of the Lost Cities
|Shannon Messenger during the talk.|
- · Messenger was asked what ability she would you like to have. She said that when she started the series she would’ve liked to have the same ability as Sophie, but now she would like to teleport. In this question she mentioned how writing involves wish fulfilment, because the author has several things in common with the protagonist of her series, Sophie.
- · Messenger was asked what ability she wouldn’t like to have, and she said it would be pyrokinesis, she joked about how she would’ve burned her hair.
- · In the story, Sophie, the protagonist, has a stuffed blue elephant she sleeps with, Shannon said Ella was one of the things from real life she transferred into the books, she has a blue elephant she can´t sleep with, and also she wants all characters to have stuffed animals. Because of this statement she got questioned about what other elements of her life made it into the books. She said she has the same nervous habit as Sophie, she tugs her eyelashes, (when I read this in the book I thought it hurt, but she says it doesn’t). Sophie has a cat in her former home which it’s inspired in one of her five cats, a super big cat of 25 pounds… with abs (she said that).
- · Recently it was announced that there will be a sixth and seventh installment of Keeper of the Lost Cities, about it she said that her editor told her that she could write book 8, 9 and 10. Messenger says it’s not stablished yet how many books will it be, but now she has a margin of 10 to finish the story of Sophie Foster, it may be 8 or 9 books, not precisely 10.
- · She was asked which KOTLC is her favorite book. She said her favorite book changes over time, it’s always the one she is writing in the moment because it’s hers only, and when the book gets published she feels it doesn’t belong to her anymore.
- · She was asked about if she read fanfics. As many other authors have said, she doesn’t, although she feels curious about it. The main reason is for legal reasons, if someone knows she read a fanfic and then she writes something similar to what’s in the fanfic, she may be sued because of it, and that would be a lot of legal trouble.
- · She said she will write a different story that will be a standalone, a challenge to her because she has never write a story that fits a single book.
|Shannon Messenger in the signing.|
About becoming an author
- · She got asked about how she went to studying Cinematic Arts to being an author. She said she started taking classes at college, only the ones she was interested in that were about screenwriting. When she entered the USC she discovered she couldn’t take only the classes she was interested in, she also discovered she was good at producing, so she pursued that path. Later on she discovered that despite she was good at it, she hated it. She decided she wanted to go back to writing, but screenwriting was not an option because when a script is bought it gets rewritten over and over again, you have no control over it at all, so she decided she wanted to write a book.
Tips to aspiring authors
- · She advised that aspiring writers should focus on writing first instead of looking into the publishing industry because getting involved with it may be. She says the writing part is the fun one, and the publishing one is awful.
- · Also she said aspiring authors should not get discouraged if they are told their stories are not good. None writes a perfect first draft, she says that even thou your manuscript is pure dirt, it’s okay. Keeper of the Lost Cities was the 20th draft; a lot of the story improves as drafts get revised.
To finish the event she signed the books and gave swag to everyone. It was a nice experience, it was my first time in a signing outside comic con, and her talk was pretty interesting and inspiring.